The Four Day Week: The Secret to making it Work | Oak Engage
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S2 E3: The Four Day Week - The Secret to Making It Work

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S2 E3: The Four Day Week - The Secret to Making It Work
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    Hello everyone and welcome to May's episode of your go-to internal communications podcast, Comms In A Nutshell.

    In this episode Vic & Scott are back in the studio and discussing everything to do with the four day week, the results of the latest UK pilot study and more specifically how businesses can successfully cope with the changes that the four day week will bring to organisations. 

    If you haven't listened to the last episode with Jenni Field we spoke to her about all things organisational change, specifically… why are we so resistant to change? And what can businesses do to help guide employees through organisational change successfully. You can listen to that episode right here. But in this exciting episode, here's what you can expect:  

    • Discussing what the four day week movement is
    • Reviewing the latest UK study and the results
    • Discussing how companies have actually made it work in their business with comments and insight from Claire Daniels, CEO of Trio Media whose four day week trial has proven to be very successful thus far in her results driven marketing agency
    • Exploring and sharing opinions on recent studies and trending LinkedIn posts 

    You can listen to the episode right here, or download on your favourite podcast player: 

    What do you think? Can the four day week become a reality by 2030? Does you company do it already and how is it going. If you'd like to get in touch with thoughts and ideas please email

    Reading & Resources:


    Episode Transcript: 

    [00:00:00] Vic: Welcome to Comms In A Nutshell, a podcast by Oak Engage. Comms in a nutshell is the go-to place to listen to discussions with the oak engage team, industry experts, and global brands about the world of work, internal comms, intranets, and how you can get the best out of your workforce. [00:00:30] At the end of each episode, we wrap up all the tips and findings discussed in a nutshell so that you can start implementing them right away.

    Enjoy this episode.

    Hello everybody and welcome to Comms in a nutshell. Today, me and Scott are back in the studio and we are gonna be discussing the topic on everyone's feeds. The four day week,

    [00:00:50] Scott: We'll be explaining what it is, the results of the latest UK pilot study and delving into what people are saying online about the four day week.

    We've also spoken, spoken to Claire [00:01:00] Daniels, CEO and founder of Trio Media, whose company are extending their four day week trial for another six months. And we spoke to her about the progress of the scheme so far in the company.

    [00:01:09] Vic: So does the four day week work and how have people made it work?

    Can the four day week become a reality? Let's dive in.

    [00:01:17] Scott: Where do you wanna start?

    [00:01:18] Vic: We've got a lot to unpack. We do. We do. Yeah. Okay. So I guess we should start with what is the four day week?

    [00:01:24] Scott: Well, while it sounds fairly straightforward, there is a few iterations of people [00:01:30] doing their own four day week. So the official 40 week is 32 hours. No loss of pay, no loss of benefits. Companies do seem be kind of tweaking it and trying to make it work for them. So it's really seems to be a bit of free reign at the minute on actually how you approach.

    [00:01:47] Vic: Yeah, I think everyone's doing it differently, but the official four day week campaign states that it's a hundred percent productivity for 80% of the time for a hundred percent pay and benefits. They're [00:02:00] hoping to achieve this by the end of the decade. So that's seven years, do you think? Do we think that's possible?

    [00:02:05] Scott: I do. For a lot of businesses, I think there will be still businesses that are reluctant to any type of change. Um, I think the timeframe's good. Bear in mind that we've kind of been with the five day working week for best part of the a hundred years now.

    Mm-hmm. So, you know, if it is time for change, and obviously we've touched on this before, you know the episodes that, you know, the pandemic was bit of the catalyst. Uh, it seems like a realistic timeframe as you know, [00:02:30] basically you just shy of a decade

    [00:02:31] Vic: I think it's time. We're due a refresh? It's been a hundred years. It's been a hundred years. Yeah. So. Obviously, do we wanna talk a bit about that, where that started? So obviously we, we came down to the 40 hour work week, which was squashing that into five days. So it was seven days a week.

    [00:02:49] Scott: Well, yeah, it, it was, yeah.

    Before kind trade unions were involved and that was also based around more of a manufacturing agricultural output more manual jobs versus today's [00:03:00] culture of office space jobs. Mm-hmm. A lot of people working, you know, well nine to five Monday - Friday

     So yeah, there has been a change. And I guess one of the questions is, why are we not working less now when...

    [00:03:11] Vic: it's so different?

    [00:03:12] Scott: It's so different

    Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

    [00:03:14] Vic: Yeah, we've got the technology now, haven't we? It's a completely different landscape. We're not in that manufacturing agriculture. Well, even some manufacturing companies are doing four day weeks. Volkswagen. So because they have more workers, they've already kind of started doing that within their [00:03:30] thing.

    They just haven't made a big, but that's a key

    example, isn't it? So there should be like almost a step back in the amount of manual processes that are required and then that now extends into kind of, you know, Other sectors with the introduction of ai.

    Love it. Hate it. Yeah. Depends where, where you can't escape it is that rhyme. Um, but, but you know, the, the introduction of chat, G P T and these other types of programs are going to make it that you can at [00:04:00] least get, you know, a good proportion of the amount of work done that you need. You're gonna get your baseline and then you can just actually finish it off yourself.

    So it's going to. Be a great supportive tool. Mm-hmm. And again, it, it ties into this, why are we still working so much?

    Could we work 15 hours a week? Like John Maynard Keen's predicted.

    I hope so but I think if we take a little look at the four day week, there's some countries that have already tried it. So obviously Unilever in New Zealand.

    Mm-hmm. Microsoft in Japan. [00:04:30] And obviously in the UK we've just completed a trial that ran from June all the way through to December, 2022. So obviously that's pretty recent. So 500 to 600 companies actually applied to do the four day week, but only 60 were selected. So there were a variety of companies in different sectors, from corporate businesses to family run fish and chip shops, which is in Wells next to sea, which is the beach that I used to go to. So that's nice and just kind of like a whole range [00:05:00] of businesses just to showcase that it is possible.

    [00:05:03] Scott: Yeah. So there, there does seem to be a change in appetite for people approaching how they're going to work. Um, yeah. And it does just, you know, everything. I'm, keep going back to the pandemic. Everything changed like literally overnight. Yeah. And some of these practices are here to stay. Exactly. So it's nice to see people embracing it.

    Yes. So

    [00:05:25] Vic: I was listening to a podcast with Joe Ryle and he's the director of the Four Day Week campaign, and he was [00:05:30] saying that obviously people want that change. There's a big generational shift going on, and obviously the younger generations are kind of like waking up to the fact that they don't want their life to be defined by work.

    Yeah. So it's coming back to that work life balance but obviously we need to talk about the results of the study because. There's a lot of work to be done, but the results proved very positive.

    [00:05:50] Scott: So the results, out those 60 companies, 91% of them are going to continue.

    4% are leading towards continuity, so they're still [00:06:00] trialing and kind of, you know, taking that further and making sure it's for them, and 4% are not continuing at all overall, revenue rose by 35% and there was a 65% reduction in the number of sick days that employees were taking.

    Also, 71% of employees reported lower levels of burnout, so there is. There's, there's benefits for both businesses and employees from that. It's, it's not just a very one-sided thing that this is something employees want.

    [00:06:28] Vic: It's not just about [00:06:30] work life balance, it's about pr. The thing that it comes back to, isn't it, is it's productivity. And obviously revenue's riding by 35%. Who would've want that? Obviously a lot of the businesses are going to continue and 4% are leading towards continuing it, and we actually spoke to a company who are gonna extend their trial and will go into that later in the episode.

    [00:06:52] Scott: So how did people manage to make it work? The idea of the four day week is great on the surface, but how do companies actually ensure that it works. [00:07:00] There's a lot of hard work and a lot of prep that goes into making sure it works once you've actually launched it. So the official four day week split it into a program, which is in two phases.

    Phase one is deciding on a schedule and planning. So it's a schedule that works for you and your organization and how you want to. Approach that the ins and outs of who's gonna work, what days, all that kind of stuff. That takes five to six months. And then when you've done that, there's the trial phase, which is actually putting it into plan.

    And that's another five to six [00:07:30] months. So, you know, it's quite a long experiment. Mm-hmm. As a business, you know, you're talking a year really to try and get it off the ground, and then from even at the end of that year, you may still want to continue the trial for another

    [00:07:43] Vic: six months. Yeah. Cause it's a massive change.

    Sure. And I think a lot of people just. They read about it and they think, oh, let's do a four day week. But there's a lot of a lot of prep that needs to be done, and within those preparation months, there's a lot of training workshops, one-on-one support so [00:08:00] it's not an overnight thing.

    [00:08:01] Scott: A lot of self-assessment as well. Yeah. Of where can you find time in your day? Mm-hmm. To actually save time to remain productive. Yeah. But try and get that balance right to not compromise company culture and get out of the habit of like having those water cooler moments of, you know, the nice conversations that we all have when we're in the office.

    Yeah. Is still vital for your business and your employee's wellbeing. Exactly.

    [00:08:27] Vic: And I guess if you think about all [00:08:30] of us in this room, I could definitely look at my day and think I could probably use this hour better, maybe I could like do this differently I could put my phone away and that will not distract me.

    Yeah. And it's just, About finding the things that waste your time. Yeah. And cutting down on them. Yeah. We have looked at a Hayes study and with regards to how companies have made it work, they found that 38% of employees have the same day off. Because this is quite a big question.

    It's like, how does it work? Does everyone have Fridays off? Do people have Mondays off? [00:09:00]Is it staggered? So in this study it says 38% of employees have the same day off. So like a Monday or a Friday. 16% have the choice of when they can take the day off. 31% of the days are staggered, so it makes sure that there's everyone to cover operations throughout the business and 15% operate on another working model,

    [00:09:16] Scott: I was quite naive to this because I, I did think. And went into it that oh, it's great. Yeah, just cl close your business on a Friday. Mm-hmm. And have a long weekend for everyone. But obviously it doesn't work that way. And especially if you are offering services or you know, [00:09:30]providing, you know, services to customers Yeah.

    And they're not doing that, then you, you can't do that. So something I hadn't really thought about

    [00:09:37] Vic: too much, but, um, yeah. And I guess if any listeners has any ways that they do it, it would be really good to hear yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. But yes, we thought it'd be good to speak to an actual business.

    So Claire Daniels, she's the CEO of Trio Media. She's been quite a prevalent media face with the four day week, and she spoke about her experience with it quite a lot and had success [00:10:00] with it. Obviously they're still continuing for another six month

    so Trio Media, there are results driven marketing agency based in leads. And they focus on performance, creativity, and customer satisfaction. So we thought it'd be a really good chat to her and kind of answer all the questions that people are asking about four day week to see what they did. So obviously we wanted to see why they implemented the four day week and it was all about productivity.

    She saw the initial research around the four day week, and not only was it good for productivity, [00:10:30] but obviously the benefit is the work-life balance. Yeah.

    [00:10:34] Scott: People's reactions and thoughts on it initially were a mixed bag. Yeah. Which I think, yeah, some people would jump at the chance to think, oh yeah, you know, better work life balance but there are those who, you know, habitually overwork and looking at some kind of, you know, if you just look at, especially in the uk overworking and, and over time we do pretty much the longest hours in Europe. Yeah. Um, And that's, that is [00:11:00] again, is a different change for people to get on board with and get used to.

    Because if you are used to working extra two hours a day as overtime or just, you know, because you want, you want or feel you need to, then suddenly getting rid of that is a, is a big, is a big

    [00:11:15] Vic: thing. Yeah. And it's like how do I fit all of that work? And that's what I see time and time again on LinkedIn.

    It's how I can't possibly fit my workload into four days. Yeah. So, Yeah, it's like that change curve thing that we talk about at first. People are in [00:11:30] shock disbelief. They panic at first. Yeah. But there's measures that needs to be put in place. This is why you have to plan for so long.

    Yeah. When we spoke to Claire, she spoke about how they didn't read you training, but they did a workshop which was using Paul Holbrook's diary Detox, and that essentially looks at how you spend your time at work. And where you waste it. They found that internally 20% of their time was wasted.

    So they recognized that if they looked at those areas where they are wasting time, they saved like a full day [00:12:00] every week. So this helped change people's mindsets from thinking that they have to cram more work into less time. So it's prioritizing like what is important, how can we do this differently?

    They used all the four day week global resources to the webinars workshops, but they did feel that something was missing. So Claire has actually made her own four day week planner and we've taken a look at the planner and it's really good for analyzing your productivity each day. You write down what you do every day, you know exactly [00:12:30] where you're going wrong, you can work out. Of what's best for you, how to work best, and then you can just keep on improving with that each day. Cause I think the thing is like accountability every day and it's something that you have to work towards consistently.

    [00:12:44] Scott: Yeah. And there's a link in the show notes to that as well. Yes. You wanna check it out? Mm-hmm. Which you should. It's great. The main thing is, is the challenges, how you overcome them. So, initially for Trio Media, the challenges were minimal, but it might be a bit tricky when they're at recruiting [00:13:00] and, and bringing somebody else in, who haven't been there from the very start of the trial. And planning to just suddenly come in and join a business with a four day week try quite, quite tricky. That's one of the reasons why Trio Media actually wanted to continue the trial, just to make sure they get into a good flow, and make sure that it does really work for them in many situations, not just. How you are as a business right this minute. But also where you might be in five or six months time, I

    [00:13:28] Vic: suppose. It's quite tricky as [00:13:30] well. Cause if everybody's worked really, really hard for say six months to a year and then it could the four day week, I guess it can attract, I guess you need to be the right person in that.

    You need to be wanting to put in the productivity and the hard work because a lot of people might just. Think I'm gonna work there cause I only have to work four days a week. It's hard when you're recruiting people cuz you need to make sure that they're, they're right on the same wavelength and ready to put in that hard

    But obviously the [00:14:00] challenges come highlights. Mm-hmm. So, Claire told us that the financial performance since during the four day week has been. Phenomenal dollar signs, with three record high months that hadn't seen previously.

    And they also achieved a lot of media coverage, which put their company into the spotlight. And it's been really good for employees' happiness and wellbeing. And I did actually see her most recent post, achieved I think like 350% of their target Wow. The year

    so it's been good. It's been really good for them.

    [00:14:29] Scott: But again, it's an [00:14:30] example of it being good for the business. And then, and benefiting employees with better happiness, wellbeing, reducing stress. Improving their mental health and self-care, which is great. Yeah,

    [00:14:40] Vic: and it's impacted retention in a good way.

    Obviously they've retained all their staff and the recruitment has been really easy, but obviously she said that she kind of avoided shouting about it at first, but they're so well known for it now that people are regularly approaching them about, Roles within the business. It's really good for retention, and [00:15:00] onboarding top talent.

     One of the key things was measuring performance. Yeah. And I think she really highlighted that. They manage performance with KPIs, but they initially just did it on manager's discretion and gut feeling, if that's how you measure productivity, then if it works for you,

    but she says that it's,

    [00:15:21] Scott: it's however you manage performance now you continue to do that, but just based on a four day week. Yes. Not a five day week. Exactly. Which is [00:15:30] on a, on an individual basis, but you know, combined with their results that they've and increased percentages.

    It's, it's working well. It's working well for

    [00:15:37] Vic: them. It's working well. And obviously we mentioned earlier about how it's a hundred percent productivity, 80% of the time, a hundred percent pay and benefits. So we did ask her whether she'd kept holidays the same. Cause that is a question that people are obviously concerned about cause you're having a lot more time off.

    But she stuck to that role obviously, and they've kept the full holiday allowance and pay. Yeah, because obviously there are some people who are doing it a little bit [00:16:00] differently. I know some companies are prorate holidays so it just shows that if you do keep that you can still do well. Yeah. With the four day week from her results. And

    [00:16:10] Scott: when we were talking about this, this is when it kind of came into, uh, us talking about how the business works over. A five day working week with a four day week. So, um, Claire was saying her staff buddied up. If somebody's off on a Monday, then they'll be on the Friday versus the person who's working on the Mondays then off on the [00:16:30] Friday. And that way they continue it. And then we, we asked how she is the CEO managed that because obviously there's only one of her and, um, she very hands on as the ceo, um, which was interesting as well because.

    You know, it, it's very hard for people in senior leadership positions to kind of try and take on this type of thing. Yes, they might wanna do it for their staff, but ultimately for them involved in the business, it's a, it's a bigger [00:17:00] time and, you know, concern almost. Um, but she said it was, it was really important for her to set the example and make sure that staff saw her doing it as well, which is, is really good.

     She certainly gets more time rests off now for her and it is still benefiting the business as a whole, which is

    [00:17:18] Vic: good. Yeah, I think it's good to set the example. Absolutely. Yes. And her advice for any companies thinking about implementing four day week work, go for it.

    Obviously there's no one size fits all approach, so [00:17:30] you really have to figure out what works best for you and your employees and consider all eventualities. But the benefits have outweighed any negatives. And so she highly recommends giving it a go.

    [00:17:42] Scott: So it's really great that it worked for Trio Media, but it doesn't necessarily work for everyone. There are, some companies, where it might not work or those, those few that it didn't actually work for.

    Um, and this can also kind of bring up conversations about fairness for [00:18:00] services. There's a lot about the, at the minute about the NHS and how they could. Do it while there is an appetite, how they could, feasibly be managed to do that.

    [00:18:09] Vic: I was looking at where it didn't work for people and there was one engineering and industrial supplies company who did join the four day week trial, but they did it late. So for them it was quite a rush. They joined it late and they knew that it would be a challenge implementing the four day week across five sites, but they wanted to be able to give staff time off during the summer, [00:18:30] so they kind of didn't approach it as a four day week.

    They approached it as one day off every fortnight. But it just, it just didn't work for them, I don't think. They'd have the time to plan and prep. It was really, really rushed. They were on a reduced headcount and they just decided that they couldn't afford to give staff one day off every week.

    Yeah. But I wonder whether had they joined early and they'd had the right training and prep, they could have, they could have done it. Yeah. Because it all sounded like a bit of a [00:19:00]

    [00:19:00] Scott: rush. Yeah, and I guess then there's other companies who are kind of not doing the official. Way that that four day work week kind of, you know, sets out.

    It's kind of longer hours Monday to Monday or Thursday. I should, so sorry. Yeah. And then, you know, impacting on holidays or pay. Mm-hmm. Or, and I feel like that's probably not the, the best way to approach this, um, for any reason really. I think, you know, it, it's trying to give the best for the business and the [00:19:30] employees.

    Yeah. And you want to continue with. Like the benefits and everything that, that comes with that Exactly.

    [00:19:36] Vic: Work as a company. Yeah. And another company , so it's a Northampton based creative agency. They made the four day week optional for employees so they can work a 35 hour week that can be split across four or five days.

    It's not rigid either. You don't have to say, I wanna work four days, or I wanna work five days. It's pretty flexible to what you wanna do that week. So they're not prescribing anything to anyone. They're giving them that [00:20:00] choice. So again, it's just bringing it back to giving people that flexibility with what works best for them.

    Absolutely. Which it's really great.

    [00:20:08] Scott: And for some, some business that that is obviously the right, the right thing to do. Yeah. I mean, really, you know, It's still quite early in its infancy. So any kind of steps you take to look at more flexible or four, four day working week is probably gonna have big benefits for you as business and your employees, which is, is good.

    So, yeah. Yeah. Making can it

    [00:20:28] Vic: work? A lot of the [00:20:30] businesses that have picked you the four day week, they're kind of self prescribing. But I think a lot of questions that people are asking is, . Could it become universal? How, how could it work in public sector? Is it possible for everyone to do this?

    [00:20:44] Scott: Yeah, and one of the big ones is the NHS, which is the National Healthcare Service in the UK for. Those listeners who are overseas which is clearly a 24 hour service, and has to be, NHS vacancies currently [00:21:00] stand at a 10%. There is calls to look at a four day working week for NHS this year with it being the 75th anniversary. 75th.

    [00:21:07] Vic: . Anniversary. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

    [00:21:09] Scott: With the hope being that.

    It'll attract more people with better working hours. It'll impact on stress and in, in a good way. Mm-hmm. For, for those workers. It will be a, a huge cost in trying to make it work. Yeah. Cuz you would need more staff. Um, and. Yeah. Right, right. Obviously it would be a huge [00:21:30] cost because you'd need around about an extra 20% staff to make that work.

     However, since 2011 work-life balance has quadrupled as the reason for leaving the nhs. Mm-hmm. So there isn't, there is an issue with staff retention and

    [00:21:46] Vic: a huge issue with retention at the moment, and I think it's, it's getting to a breaking point and obviously this.

    This is trending on LinkedIn this week. Is that should, should this become a thing to, you know, just help sort out staffing levels? [00:22:00] Cuz I think people are kind of at breaking point. Yeah. And they need something. So well hope,

    [00:22:05] Scott: hopefully the results of the trial can Yeah. Prove that it works and, and you know, especially for the wellbeing of employees.

    Can be a big reason and it can be taken forward. But I guess the other, the other, one of the other big ones is the education sector.

    [00:22:19] Vic: Well, obviously it's kind of tricky because. How do you do that within the education sector? Is it just with staff? Is it with pupils as well? So we've been having a little look and Idaho, [00:22:30] New Mexico, and Oklahoma. So over in the US they've already seen more than 1,600 schools shift to a four day week. And in the UK a short working week has been enacted by a handful of secondary schools who have shown that a reduction in working hours for teachers is a real viable possibility.

    Forest Gate Community School, the Cumberland School and Waterside Academy, they all moved to a shorter working week since 2019, and they finished their lessons on a lunchtime on


    [00:22:56] Scott: Friday. Yeah. And this is way before the Yeah. We, we've seen [00:23:00] the, um, kind of prevalence of the four day working week in LinkedIn and, and around people getting on board.

    Like doing that in 2019 was a very early adopter, um, in a. Industry that you wouldn't necessarily think it would ever get to. So,

    [00:23:17] Vic: yeah. Interesting. It is really just, you need to see and really analyze how you can make it work, because it most likely is possible one way or another.

     In this part we're just gonna be discussing everyone's [00:23:30] opinions. Cause I'll say its hot topic at the moment. There's, it's a lot everyone. Everyone will have an opinion on it because I mean, it could impact you in the future.

     This hay study, surveyed nearly 12,000 professionals and it found that, 34% of employers would be more likely to consider the four day week if staff spent all four days in the office and 62% of professionals would rather work a four day week with all days in the office than a five day hybrid week.

    Which is quite interesting because yeah, I was kind of like, where [00:24:00] is this? Where is this just going in the office four days a week coming from It does,

    [00:24:04] Scott: yeah. It doesn't seem,

    [00:24:05] Vic: why, why are they the only two options, like four days a week in the office?

    [00:24:09] Scott: And this seems quite, um, Quite convoluted and, and it's come back to like, maybe it's the whole argument of employees aren't as productive when they work from home or Yeah.

    If certain managers or businesses don't feel like they can fully trust their employees mm-hmm. And need them in the office, well that's a them problem. [00:24:30] It's a then problem. Um, But we've, we, I mean, we've also seen resistance to even hybrid working. Yeah. And it's, you know, it seems like it's, it's gonna be the same train of thought for a lot of people relating this back to kind of, especially in some generational gaps that you mentioned earlier.

    Yeah. There's a, there's a resistance to hybrid work and there's a resistance to the four day work week. There's a resistance to change. Yeah. Um, and like the attitude seems to be, well, I never, I've, I've always worked at the. Office five days a week. That's, that should be the norm. Yeah.

    [00:24:59] Vic: And [00:25:00] obviously things change.

     We did a poll on Oak, didn't we? We did.

    [00:25:02] Scott: We did the poll, would you rather work a four day week? But you must go in the office, , or five days where you can work from home in a hybrid remote structure. 30% wanted to do four day week in the office, 58% doing five days hybrid remote, which was the clear winner.

    And we had 12%, which was other,

    [00:25:23] Vic: I picked other. Yeah, you did? Yeah, I did. I could expand on that. What did, what did you pick?

    [00:25:28] Scott: I picked, I [00:25:30] picked five days. hybrid remote

    [00:25:32] Vic: yeah.

    Well, so I, I picked other because from all the research that we've been doing, the whole premise of the four day week has been around productivity and rethinking the way you work and doing what's best for you so that you can do the work best.

    Yeah. So I'm like, if that for me is at home or if it's in the office. I should be able to have the choice of where I work. So if I want to do four days a week at home or [00:26:00] the office, why can't I do that? You know?

    We've found a couple of LinkedIn comments so we can read some of them out. So someone said, when I see things like this, I'm utterly baffled. Why are employers still not getting the message? That enabling your employees to work from where they want empowers them to do their best work? Sure, or four day week in the office might work really well for some employees, but then for others who focus better at home, that's not the right way.

    One size doesn't fit all. In this case, which is what you said, which is why is said,

    [00:26:28] Scott: is that your question? I stole mine.[00:26:30]

    [00:26:32] Vic: Someone says it makes perfect sense to do this way. The four day week is a reality and some organizations don't really like the idea of it. I get that flexibility and autonomy are irrefutably the most important things to employees, so there's got to be a bit of a balance. So they think that it's kind of like you can't have your cake and eat it as an employee.

     If you wanna have the reduced hours, you should go into the office.

    [00:26:53] Scott: Yeah. I guess we see a lot, a lot of this where, you know, especially on, on, on our generations and [00:27:00] younger generations is that they would. Only apply for jobs that are hybrid or Yeah. Remote now. And that is just kind of a, a shift that's, that's happened and that, that's just their mentality.

    Yeah. Especially those who that joined workforce during the pandemic and have never experienced a lot of office based. . Yeah. Yeah. It might be a, it might just be a here stay.

    [00:27:23] Vic: There's the aspect of retention as well. So 64% of professionals say that they would [00:27:30] move jobs if the company was offering four day week. Yeah. So,

    [00:27:33] Scott: obviously, which I mean, as much as anybody loves that job. That work-life balance is, is gonna be a huge thing. Mm-hmm. And if you can, you know, spend more time with family friends, then you know, you really would.

    I'm sure there's a few people out there who would staunchly say no. Um, that's not for me. But I think for the majority of everyone, like the idea sounds ideal. It's just the practice and [00:28:00] making it

    [00:28:00] Vic: work that it's tricky. So I did find another debate online. So someone asked, doesn't the 180 a hundred formula suggest that a business is currently 20% Underoptimized? So as in the assumption seems to be that it's possible to be equally as productive in less time because there's stuff that can be cut out.

    But what if an organization has been optimized really well and there isn't unproductive things to cut? So a four day week would then mean a drop to 80% productivity. No. So then the second conundrum. [00:28:30] Was they asked if it's definitely better for us in the long term to work four days at full pelt or five days at 80%. I can see the four days feels motivating and maybe it is better, but to achieve a hundred percent productivity in 80% of the time feels like there's less surplus capacity.

    And the pandemic has shown us how running close to capacity can bring its own issues of fragility. So that's quite interesting.

    [00:28:53] Scott: Before the answer, I think it's a very, very rare business that runs at a hundred percent productivity all the time.

    The nature of [00:29:00] us as humans is, you know, we're extremely, we find it extremely difficult to focus. Yeah. Like, like that. Completely five days a week over the course of a day. So it does seem like, yeah, if your, if your workforce is robots, you'd be fine. But I think, you know, just the nature of human beings, it's gonna be a tricky one.

    [00:29:20] Vic: Yeah, businesses are there always changing, there's always room for improvement. So is your business, even if you do think right now, right, we're a hundred percent, is it gonna stay that way forever?

    [00:29:29] Scott: [00:29:30] Yeah. Yeah.

    The answer is, is yes. It does assume that we are at least 20% underoptimized.

    It is partly based on the article that Andrew Barnes, who is the lead. Four day week Guru in The Economist, which reckoned UK employee employees only doing focused work two and a half hours a day. It's not a lot is it? It's not a lot, no.

     It's certainly been the case for most companies who have done a pilot, four day week, they've found that they can get at least 20% of the time and often more back, um, and with an increase in productivity. [00:30:00] So four days at full pelt or five days, 80%.

    It is a good question. I guess it's, it's different for everybody. Yeah. And I guess that's, that is also what, what, what it brings back to is it can be different for everybody and every business.

    [00:30:14] Vic: They said that being productive is really motivating. Which is It is.

    I can sense achievement. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I guess that then if you are feeling more productive and achieving more, you are less stressed. Yeah. So it kind of [00:30:30] bounces out and you can't deny that the four day week, it's brought about a sense of better wellbeing and a work-life balance. So I feel like the stress is eliminated.

    [00:30:43] Scott: I mean, there's, there's a lot there to unpack and there's probably vast amounts of information and opinions online that people will be seeing every day. But for us, in a nutshell, as we're on Comms in a nutshell, I guess it boils down to that everyone's different, every business is different, [00:31:00] and while.

    It looks like four day working week will be here to stay for more companies. It's getting it to work for you. Mm-hmm. Which is really the key thing. Whether that is through the official way or just more of a hybrid approach for your business and your employees

    [00:31:18] Vic: focused on productivity. Yeah. And I think you don't even have to maybe make a switch to a four day week.

    You could just start looking at where can we save time? How can we all try and be more productive? And then, [00:31:30] Springboard from there. Absolutely. But I'm excited to see where it goes. Yeah. So who knows, in five years time maybe we'll all be doing it, but obviously it is a very interesting topic and I think if everybody wants to get involved, send me and Scott on email or get involved with our socials on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram.

     We are on TikTok as well, so it's just at Oak Engage everywhere. So if you have an opinion, just feel free to send it in and thank you for listening.

    [00:31:59] Scott: We hope you enjoyed [00:32:00] this episode. Make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube, our social media channels, and your favorite podcast player to get all the latest comms in a nutshell

    [00:32:07] Vic: content. If you want to learn more about how an internet can transform employee engagement and streamline your communications, why not head to our website and book a demo with one of our experts?

    So go

    [00:32:18] Scott: ahead,

    [00:32:18] Jenni: give us

    [00:32:18] Scott: a follow and we'll see you for our next episode.


    Vic is one of Oaks Content Marketing Specialists. She specialises in communication and marketing and is also a host on the Comms In A Nutshell podcast for Internal Comms & HR professionals.